People from my past tend to pop up in my life, as I told you about in this post. I used to think this happened to everyone. And it does, to some extent. A random high school friend will re-connect with you, an old co-worker will email you to say hi– you’ve all had this happen, right? But like, how often? To me, it happens like clockwork. A few months go by, and my phone will ring, or my inbox will light up, and there will be someone I once knew, who’s popping back in to say howdy. It happens to me all. the. time. Sometimes the re-connecting goes swimmingly, like my roomie from college who I was thrilled to hear from, and sometimes it’s not so thrilling. But every few months, in my world, it’s going to happen. I don’t have enough hubris to think it won’t happen, I just hope that whoever it is this time will be cool.
Today, I got an email from the very first friend I ever had in my life. She’s a couple of years older than me, and our parents were friends when I was born. My mom tells me that when I was a newborn baby, M would sit by my crib and keep me company. So I have known her almost literally my entire childhood, minus maybe a few days at the beginning. As we grew up, M was responsible for introducing me to many delicious pop culture offerings, and I feel like my current love of all things pop may have had a kickstart from her. She and I were always convinced of our fabulousness and we donned many different personas to express it, for all the fabulosity was impossible to contain as just US. One thing I remember was that she had a book version of the movie “Grease,” which had pictures of every single scene on glossy magazine-style paper, and every line of dialogue of the movie written in like a script. We would read that book together over and over, democratically switching off who got to be Sandy and who got to be Rizzo each time (now that’s a true friend) and singing all the songs with gusto. I also remember that her older brother’s room was in her basement (it was wood paneled and very Greg Brady) and we would go down there when he wasn’t home and look at his posters of KISS on the wall and try to decide which one was the “cutest” (ie which one scared the bejeezus out of us the least). We also would put on records (Thriller, Synchronicity, and anything by David Bowie being our favorites) and sing the lyrics to each other and try to act out every line of every song in a crazy charades-like manner. I remember I almost peed my pants laughing as she acted out the line “packed like lemmings into shiny metal boxes” by making a mousy buck-toothed face (we didn’t really know what lemmings were) and trying to fold herself into a square. We were also both completely obsessed with discussing kissing. What would it be like to kiss a boy? When would it happen to us? Do you keep your mouth open or closed? We conducted hours-long symposiums on this subject. We kissed our own hands so that we would be ready. We never talked about any ACTUAL boys. It was the act of kissing that fascinated us, not the potential recipients of the kissing. M was the very first person that I ever made up new lyrics to a pop song with. I remember it was a version of Robert Palmer’s “Bad Case of Loving You” that involved lots of references to poop. M was the friend in my life who first had MTV. She was the one who would discuss with me whether or not Laverne and/or Shirley should ever date Lenny and Squiggy. She was the one who sat through “Rescue from Gilligan’s Island” with me and agreed with me that although it made us feel a little guilty, we didn’t WANT them to be rescued.
By the time I got to middle school, M had moved, and we totally lost touch. It’s been so long I can hardly imagine that she is really, truly an adult. Someone who probably doesn’t obsessively talk about kissing, someone who may not care to discuss whether the Bangles, the Go-Gos, or Bananarama is the best (although I still am interested in these things, so who knows?). This is the strange part about re-connecting with someone who only knew you at a particular time in your life. It reminds you of the person you were when you knew them so well. It’s strange, but it’s beautiful too. So M! Awesome to hear from you! And I still think the drummer from KISS is the least freaky.